Twice a year, thousands of gun enthusiasts descend on West Point, KY for the Knob Creek Range’s Machine Gun Shoot. The event (slogan: “Where the Second Amendment comes first”) features gun dealers and collectors, hunting and weapons classes, competitions, and, of course, many, many guns – “water cooled Brownings, Mini-guns, AK-47s, MG-42s, Tommy Guns, M-16s, Vickers Belt Fed, Uzis, MP5s and many others too numerous to mention,” according to Knob Creek’s website.
But the event’s real draw is the shoot itself. Taking place on a 350-yard outdoor range, the range promises “four rounds of firing at a wide variety of appliances, vehicles, pyramids of tires, and barrels of fuel with pyrotechnic charges attached—creating large and small mushroom clouds and fire balls from hell!!” The website adds, helpfully, “the objective is to destroy everything down range.”
New York City based photographer Thomas Prior documented the shoot in April. “The whole weekend was bizarre,” Thomas recalls, “but it was the three quiet hours down range, milling about with families among the shot-up ruins, that really blew my mind.”
Thomas Prior lives in Brooklyn, New York. More of his work can be seen here.